During a Senate subcommittee hearing on whistleblowing last month, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Assistant Secretary David Michaels lamented the relatively short 30-day statute of limitations for filing a whistleblower claim under section 11(c) of the OSH Act. According to Michaels, the agency dismisses hundreds of merit cases each year solely on the statute of limitations issue. His oral and written testimony suggested a number of ways to give teeth to what he claimed was the most widely-used whistleblower statute. One suggestion he did not make during the hearing – which is now in operation – is a claim referral program with the National Labor Relations Board (Board).
Articles Discussing The Federal Occupational Safety And Health Act And Other Issues Relating To Workplace Safety And Health.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued an interim final rule and request for comments on the procedures for handling retaliation complaints under the employee protection provision of the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). OSHA is charged with overseeing and enforcing the whistleblower provisions of 22 separate statutes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been tasked by Congress to enforce the whistleblower provisions of 22 different statutes. These laws protect workers in many industries throughout the country from retaliation when they report unsafe working conditions, fraud or something that would endanger the public.
Effective Thursday, February 13, 2014, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule governing the agency’s future handling of whistleblower complaints under Section 402 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which protects workers who disclose food safety concerns.1 While similar to other whistleblower protection statutes in procedure, the new rule follows a trend making it significantly easier for a claimant to establish a prima facie case under the FSMA’s whistleblower protection provisions. Food industry employers should be aware of the new rule and consider implementing plans for managing what may appear to be fairly low-level suggestions or complaints, but could nevertheless qualify as “protected activity” under this new lower threshold for whistleblower protection.
During a House Subcommittee hearing on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) recent sub-regulatory actions, Littler Shareholder Maury Baskin urged lawmakers to call upon the agency to withdraw its recent Letter of Interpretation (LOI) that allows union agents and community organizers to accompany safety inspectors into non-union worksites. Testifying on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers and the Associated Builders and Contractors, Baskin explained that the LOI, issued on February 21, 2013, contradicts the plain language of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and is simply “bad policy.”
On February 1of each year, employers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Rules1 must post the official summary of all injuries and illnesses occurring in the previous year. Employers must compile the information on the OSHA Form 300A or an equivalent and post it in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted. The posting must remain up through April 30, 2014.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a web page devoted to hospital worker safety. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012, U.S. hospitals recorded 250,000 work-related injuries and illnesses, almost 60,000 of them causing employees to miss work. These statistics, according to OSHA, make hospitals one of the most hazardous places to work, even more dangerous for employees than working in construction or manufacturing.
Executive Summary: The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently made it easier for disgruntled employees to file whistleblower complaints against their current or former employers. Going forward, employees who believe they have been subjected to retaliation for complaining about an alleged violation of one of the 22 statutes for which OSHA enforces whistleblower protections can file complaints on-line on the OSHA website.
If you operate a nursing home or residential care facility, it is time to take a hard, critical look at the health and safety risks in your workplace. Failure to correct problems could prove a very expensive mistake – as a nursing home in New Jersey recently discovered.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) annual Workplace Injury and Illness Summary, private sector employers reported approximately 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2012, or about 3.4 instances per 100 full-time equivalent workers, down from 3.5 instances per 100 workers reported in 2011. This data is in keeping with the steady decline of reported injury and illness rates over the past five years.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule that would require employers to submit their injury and illness survey data electronically. The proposal would not change the employer’s obligation to complete or retain the injury and illness recordkeeping information, but rather would modify the method of delivery to OSHA or OSHA’s designee. The agency explains that: “the purpose of this rulemaking is to improve workplace safety and health through the collection of useful, accessible, establishment-specific injury and illness data to which OSHA currently does not have direct, timely, and systematic access.”
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created two online resources aimed at reducing chemical hazards in the workplace. The first is an online toolkit to help employers identify chemicals that can be used as alternatives to more hazardous substances, or eliminate them altogether. According to OSHA, the toolkit is appropriate for manufacturers that use chemicals in their production processes and businesses that use products containing chemicals in their everyday operations. The webpage includes seven linkable steps to make the workplace safer, as well as an introductory video.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its long-awaited proposed rule that sets new workplace permissible exposure limits (PELs) for respirable crystalline silica, and outlines methods to control exposure, conduct medical exams for workers with high silica exposure, train workers about silica-related hazards, and keep records related to crystalline silica amounts. The proposal includes one exposure limit standard for general industry and maritime employment, and another for construction.